Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas By Charlaine Harris (Series, #2)
I generally lean a bit more toward stand-alone books and trilogies, but every once in a while I get caught up in a series. Currently, I’m caught up in two–Sookie Stackhouse Series and Dark Tower Series. Anyway, I decided I should warn you guys if a book is in the middle of a series by placing (series, #number) in the title. So be warned that means there will be spoilers for books preceding that book, but probably not for that book itself. Got it? Good! There are currently 9 books in the Sookie Stackhouse Series and 7 in the Dark Tower Series, so don’t despair! Stand-alones and trilogies will be back shortly. Now, on to the review!
Sookie discovers yet another murder in Bon Temps when she finds Merlotte’s cook, Lafayette, dead in the bar’s parking lot. She doesn’t have much time to even think about the murder, though, because Eric has called upon her to fulfill her duty to the vampires. She’s been hired by a vampire nest in Dallas to investigate the disappearance of one of their brothers. Sookie discovers there’s more to the supernatural world–and the natural one–than she ever bargained for.
Maybe it’s because I have yet to see the second season of True Blood and thus don’t have the awesomeness that is that tv show to compare to, but I found myself liking this entry into Sookie’s escapades far more than Dead Until Dark. The first book is much more about the murders than the supernatural world Sookie finds herself on the edge of. Here, she is forced to confront the fact that, yes, she is dating someone from an entirely different world than hers.
This key plot element is what drives the story in a two-pronged fashion. First, Sookie encounters far more supernatural beings than she has before–shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, a maenad, and another telepath. The supernatural world is far bigger and more complex than she ever imagined. Vampires weren’t one lonely group separated from everyone. They’re a group in an underground world that is straddling both worlds and neither seems too happy about it. This makes the whole idea of vampires coming out of the coffin more interesting, because the other supernatural creatures have one thing in common with the humans: they aren’t happy with the vampires for coming out.
Second, Sookie finally has to deal with the fact that, much as she loves Bill, he has his faults just like anyone does. His just run a bit more shocking to her, because he is in fact a member of the undead. Bill tells her at one point that he hasn’t been human far longer than he was human, and he often forgets what it is like to feel human. There is definitely an element of Bill that is a monster, and Sookie sees that. Bill may be trying to control it, but it’s there. Sookie moves past the honeymoon phase of the relationship and has to decide if her and Bill really are a good match. If the pleasure of loving him is worth the difficulties and struggles.
All the strong features and weaknesses of Dead Until Dark are found here. The conversations are again, excellent. I particularly enjoyed when a werewolf calls Sookie “little milkbone.” On the other hand, the multiple storylines of many characters found in True Blood are again absent here. I think, however, as the series progresses, it will be easier to see this as Sookie’s story and True Blood as Bon Temps’ story, and Sookie is enough of a three-dimensional character to keep it interesting.
4 out of 5 stars
Source: Bought on Amazon